A while ago, the UAW started passing out signature cards at Volkswagen’s factory in Chattanooga, TN. It looks like most landed in the garbage can.
The UAW needs signatures from at least 30 percent of the workers before a representation election can go ahead. There is no information on how many (or how few) signatures the UAW received. However, Gary Casteel, director of the UAW’s District 8 says now that the UAW wasn’t serious. Casteel told The Tennessean:
“We have not started an official organizing campaign. What got some people up in arms is that we passed out some cards, but they were never about setting up an election. The cards were just gauging the level of support.”
The paper sees older workers at the Volkswagen plant as more supportive of the union than younger employees are. Says the Chattanooga paper:
“Some younger workers fear they could lose some of their current benefits if the union negotiates a contract with Volkswagen.”
Chances are pretty rotten for a union if workers fear that they get less after they sign. The workforce appeared pretty youthful when we had visited the plant last year.
The comments to the article in the Tennessean reflect the cautious mood in Chattanooga. “The UAW will only protect the drunks, drug addicted, lazy, thieves and those who are chronically absent,” says a Dennis Tucker. “Don’t do it. The UAW is a bunch of self-serving thugs and will be bad for the employees,” a Ron Brown asks.